March Coupon Codes for ProjectorPeople.com

Coupon Code

Projector People is now offering special savings on projectors for home theater and business with our special Coupon Codes. Coupon codes are for blog readers only!

Casio XJ-S35
You save $100
Special Coupon Code: SAVE50

Panasonic PT-AX100U
Save $100
Special Coupon Code: SAVE100

Mitsubishi HD1000U
Save $50
Special Coupon Code: SAVE50

Enter the corresponding code into the promotions box once the product has been added to the cart.

Offer valid through March 31st, 2007!

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Tech News: The State of Home Theater Projection

Twice a year we at ProjectorPeople.com take a moment to share with you our perspective on what’s new in the projection industry. In this article we will look at some of the current trends, from features to pricing, in home theater video projection.

Who’s Using Home Theater Projectors?

Video gamers, movie buffs, sports fanatics, high-definition value hunters, you name it. Video projection is on a roll, and it may soon become ordinary to see a home theater in households in America and around the world. Growing segments include video gamers, entertainment establishments, and people who are really just looking for a great price for a high-definition display.

Shipley Home Theater for Gaming

Video Gaming

The draw for video gamers is two-fold. The extraordinary animation in today’s video games cries for high-definition display and the giant image helps to provide that immersive experience longed for since Star Trek introduced the Holodeck. The new Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 both offer high-definition output, including support up to 1080p – this year’s big thing. Both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 offer HD DVD (Xbox) Sony Blu-ray (PS3) support, though there is an additional purchase required for the Xbox.

(Photo: Shipley Home Theater)

The Nintendo Wii outputs only 480p resolution, and does not offer a DVD player, but it does offer an additional level to that immersive experience. There is one catch, however. For those who want to install all their components near the projector (several feet back from the screen), a third-party wireless module (around $30) will need to be purchased so that the LED sensor (the part that senses player motion) can be placed in front of the screen. The wireless module replaces the Nintendo sensor which has to be attached to the console to receive power.

High-Def Value Hunters

As our world turns toward high-definition, many buyers are simply looking for a low-priced option to bring them into the HD world. Video projectors offer great big images, much larger than LCD TVs and Plasma, and they cost significantly less. The bigger is better approach to television purchases led many of us to buy 50-inch TVs, and moving to a 32 or 37-inch flat panel TV feels a bit like a step down, even with the higher resolution. Costs for larger flat TVs also are a barrier to wide-spread adoption. Video projectors, however, can produce even bigger images than our old TVs and cost less money.

Price Comparison of LCD, Plasma and Projectors by Size
Resolution/Type Screen Size (inches) Estimated Street Price
720p LCD TV 37-inch screen $1,099 – $1,999*
720p Plasma TV 37-inch screen $999 – $1,999*
720p Home Theater Projector 100 to 200-inch $700 – $1,499**
* LCD and Plasma prices based on advertised prices on popular consumer electronics stores in March 2007. ** Based on Projector People prices in March 2007.

Sports Bars, Restaurants, and other Service Providers

Last year we mentioned that projector price decreases have also allowed for greater buying power to business owners in the service industry. We continue to see restaurants and sports bars employing big screen projectors as a way to entice visitors, and entertain them as they dine, drink, or dance. Major events such as the Super Bowl, Olympics, Oscars, and Title Fights are also big draws, which are a perfect pairing for a 200-inch big display. But lower prices on bright High-Definition widescreen (16×9) projectors and broader product options are the biggest drivers of sales in this segment.

Projectors and Photographers

Photographers continue to be a growing segment of projector users, with more artists taking advantage of video projectors as a selling tool – either displaying slideshows to drive more photo sales, or as an extra for displaying real-time photos (or video) at special events such as weddings and bar mitzvahs. Widescreen (16×9) projectors are becoming more popular with photographers as well, as widescreen laptops have become the most common.

(Photo: Brian Adams Photographics)

New Standards in High Definition – The Ascent of 1080p

The Sweet Spot

Last year we reported the resolution ‘sweet spot’ to be WXGA-H which is 1280×720 pixels (aka 720p for 720 lines of video resolution with progressive scanning). That can still be said today, as the majority of projectors sold into home theater today are 720p. Prices have remained fairly stable, but manufacturer rebates and incentives have helped to drive street prices down. Brightness and contrast ratios are still the primary factors that differentiate the models and prices in the WXGA-H category. 480p products are still phasing out, but remain a great ultra-cheap option for first-time buyers.

Epson 1080p projector

1080p Has Arrived

The biggest buzz this year has been the emergence of affordable 1080p projectors. A year ago we predicted these projectors would hit with street prices around $5000, and we were very close. There are several options available at or around this price, including the new Epson ProCinema 1080. The makers of the Epson 1080 have had extra time to perfect their product, and have included popular features like a 2x zoom lens, impressive horizontal and vertical lens shift capabilities, HDMI 1.3 compatibility and an internal video processor/scaler for those who have multiple source resolutions (with support for 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p). They have also included a comprehensive 3-year exchange warranty which includes next business day replacement for the duration of the warranty.

Benefits of 1080p resolution products go beyond simply more lines of resolution. The video lines are still made up of pixels, and those additional pixels provide additional benefits.

  • Better color saturation (more pixels equal more color detail)
  • Better contrast (more pixels equals more light blocked on the screen)
  • Smoother and more detailed image (more pixels allow for more information passed to each pixel).

Quick Tip: It is sometimes reported that component video cannot support a 1080p signal. In reality it can, but some manufacturers will disable the option due to copy protection issues. The new Epson ProCinema 1080 can support the true high-definition 1080p resolution via component if you can find a source that outputs 1080p through component.

Price ranges by resolution
WVGA 480p (848 x 480) $599 – $999*
WXGA-H 720p (1280 x 720) $799 – $4,999
HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) $3,999 – $5,499
Contrast & brightness are biggest price differentiators after resolution. * Prices ranges as of March 2007 on ProjectorPeople.com.
Projector Popularity Contest

There is no king and queen crowned, and no dance, but anytime you want to know what our most popular home theater projectors are here at ProjectorPeople.com, you can take a look at our most popular projectors page. This page gives you a look at our most popular projectors from the last seven days of business.

Popular Home Theater Projectors

720p
  • Optoma Home Theater HD66
  • 1080p
  • Panasonic AE7000U HD
  • Epson 8350
  • Panasonic PT AR100U HD 1080p
  • Have more questions? Call a Projector Expert today for the best advice and the best price on projectors for work and home.

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    Tech News: The State of Projection

    Twice a year we at ProjectorPeople.com take a moment to share with you our perspective on what’s new in the projection industry. In this article we will look at some of the current trends, from features to pricing, in business video projection.

    Popular Markets – Where are Business Projectors Used?

    Business projectors are as popular as ever in presentation applications, particularly in church, education, and business environments. Churches in particular have been empowered by lower projector prices to use portable projectors in smaller venues such as youth rooms, and in more intimate worship environments such as missionary outings.

    Last year we mentioned that projector price decreases have also allowed for greater buying power to business owners in the service industry. We continue to see restaurants and sports bars employing big screen projectors as a way to entice visitors, and entertain them as they dine, drink, or dance. Major events such as the Super Bowl, Olympics, Oscars, and Title Fights are also big draws, which are a perfect pairing for a 200-inch big display. But lower prices on bright High-Definition widescreen (16×9) projectors and broader product options are the biggest drivers of sales in this segment.

    Photographers use projectors

    Photographers continue to be a growing segment of projector users, with more artists taking advantage of video projectors as a selling tool – either displaying slideshows to drive more photo sales, or as an extra for displaying real-time photos (or video) at special events such as weddings and bar mitzvahs. Widescreen (16×9) projectors are becoming more popular with photographers as well, as widescreen laptops have become the most common. (Photo: Brian Adams Photographics)

    Specs and Prices

    Brightness

    Projectors for business continue to get brighter, with the lower prices and advancing technology taking projectors to their brightest lumen ratings ever. In fact, the brightness benchmark for lights-on-presentations is now at approximately 2000 lumens (up from the 1500 we reported a year ago). There are also numerous affordable options in the 2500-3500 lumen range as well, for those who require a larger screen, or who just want a punchier image.

    Weight

    Not too much has changed in the weight category this year, with the exception of a new category of projectors called “pocket projectors.” These new highly portable and stylish projectors are designed for portability only. They are not nearly as bright as standard ultra portable projectors. For example, the Mitsubishi PK20 weighs just 1.1 lbs., but produces just 25 lumens of brightness. Image sizes are also limited to 40-60 inches (on a good day).

    The ultra-portable projectors you know and love remain in the 2 – 7 lbs. range, and continue to add brightness.

    Resolution

    As we have reported over the last several months, HD widescreen projectors are now readily available, and even more affordable. But there are still customers who still prefer a 4:3 image, like users in business settings – in particular those projectors managed through a local area network. For those users there is still good news in the pixel category. There are now many affordable SXGA+ (1400×1050) product options. In fact, SXGA+ projectors have dropped hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of dollars in the last year. Projectors are catching up to those high resolution laptops and desktop computer display resolutions.

    Three Tiers of Portable Projectors

    Entry Level Portables

    NEC Projector
  • 2000 – 2500 lumens (SVGA, XGA)
  • Good for audiences of 20 people or less
  • Weight: 2 – 7 lbs.
  • Price range: $650 – $1,299*
  • Example product: Casio XJ-S30

    Mid Range Portables

  • 2500 – 3500 lumens (XGA, WXGA)
  • Good for audiences of 50 people or less
  • Weight: 2 – 7 lbs.
  • Price range: $899 – $1,799*
  • Example product: Optoma EP739

    High End Portables

  • 3500+ lumens (XGA,WXGA, SXGA+)
  • Any size audience up to 100+
  • Weight: 4 -10 lbs.
  • Price range: $1,799 – $3,500*
  • Example product: Optoma EP910

    Installation Projectors for Home or Office

    Conference Room Installation

    NEC Projector
  • 3500+ lumens (XGA,SXGA+)
  • Any size audience up to 100+
  • Price range: $2,000 – $8,000*
  • Example product: NEC NP1000

    Widescreen Installation Projectors

  • 3500+ lumens (WXGA, WXGA-H)
  • Any size audience up to 100+
  • Price range: $6,000 and up*.
  • Example product:Panasonic PT-DW5000U

    * Prices are approximations based on ProjectorPeople.com pricing on March 7, 2007

    Quick Tip: Want more pricing information? Use our handy “Projector Finder” tool and break-it-down your way.

    Projector Popularity Contest

    At ProjectorPeople.com we have our very own Top Ten list. No it’s not a series of clever jokes about projectors, it’s actually our top models sold from our last seven days of business. So if you ever wonder what other people are buying, this handy reference might be just what you need.

    On the Horizon

    How can manufacturers improve on the state of projection technology today? There are two noticeable voids between what the customer wants, and what is currently available. They are: wireless video capabilities (particularly HD) and content delivery to a projector over a local area network (LAN). Both of these features are closer to realization than they have been, but both are still potentially another year or two away.

    For wireless video transmission, some manufacturers are waiting for the standardization to materialize. Many are using the 802.11g protocol, which was not intended to handle video. Consumers are likely to want HD wireless video also, which may also delay adoption for manufacturers as well. There are signs that we are close to seeing HD wireless on the consumer market, however, as Sanyo demonstrated a HD WiFi via LASER at CES this year using proprietary WHDI technology from Amimon (read more here).

    Content delivery to a projector over a LAN is also getting closer to fruition, though users may ultimately realize that the network functionality that currently exists is really all they require. Currently projectors can be managed through a network, which essentially means that anything you can do with the projector’s remote control can be managed by a person with proper access on a given network. Projectors can set auto shut down times (a big time-saver on a business or school campus), sources can be switched (handy with novice users), and so on. Networked projectors also allow network administrators to receive emails when the projector is disconnected from the network (in case of theft), or for basic maintenance reminders (low lamp life, and so on). But users are still clamoring to access files over their projector without a computer which cannot happen without an onboard processor with the application installed.

    As we predicted last year, prices continue to drop, and lower priced units have more features and brightness than ever before. Low-resolution (SVGA) projectors are still alive, and are still inexpensive for very bright models. But the reports of SVGA’s death were greatly exaggerated. We still see numerous options in the SVGA category. Still, SVGA remains the lowest common resolution, and will probably be phased out sooner than later.

    In the coming year, watch for continued dedication to higher resolution projectors (HD, SXGA+) and for the prices on those units to dip slightly, then stabilize. Home theater projectors could see more brightness, while they continue to hold on to higher contrast ratios.

    Last Year’s Wish List:
    • More options in affordable high-resolution widescreen projectors. (granted)
    • PDAs and cell phones that can plug directly into a projector. (not granted)
    • Wireless full-motion video that works without producing artifacts. (not there yet)
    • Wireless projectors that don’t require loading proprietary software on each laptop (granted somewhat, easier installations with seamless downloads )
    This Year’s Wish List:
    • Content delivery to a projector over a LAN
    • Projector with full motion HD via wireless transmission
    • Projectors with an iPod dock or more with USB capability.
    • Longer lasting lamps

    Share Your Opinion

    Do you have a projection need that is currently going unfulfilled? Share your ideas with us and we will pass your thoughts along to our manufacturer contacts. Some great innovations have stemmed from our customer feedback!

    Still have questions? Call a Projector Expert today for the best advice and the best price on projectors for work and home.

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